Need HEA Dessert Party Advice

I wasn’t going to do it, but it looks like we are going to be at Magic Kingdom the day of our anniversary so I figured it would be a night end to the night to do the Dessert Party. I’ve heard varying things about the different versions and was wondering if anyone could confirm or offer any suggestions.

So I believe there are 3 versions: 1) Garden view 2) Terrace (seated) view 3) After Fireworks w/ Garden view.

I’ve heard the view from Garden is great, while from videos I’ve seen the Terrace really can’t see the bottom of the castle. I’ve also heard the dessert area can be a mad house, so i was wondering if the After party is less crazy.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

I’ve done the garden view and the after fireworks dessert parties. I definitely prefer the after party. Both have views from the garden area. It is not perfectly centered, but it’s very nice and spacious. Plenty of room. We sat down toward the back the last time we did it and felt that was better than standing near the front of the area. The after party of us was significantly less crowded. When we did the regular garden view party, the lines for food were long and the table area was really crowded. We are doing the after fireworks party again in April.


Very cool. How long does it last afterwards? Is it less rushed since the park is closed? The day we are looking the park closes at 9pm and that is when the show is.

We went to the earlier one last week and really enjoyed it. Fireworks were scheduled to begin at 8 and we were able to check in at 6:30. We had plenty of time to get second (and thirds!!) before heading into the viewing area. In fact, I think we ended up being the last ones to leave. The restaurant really cleared out before OUAT (which we didn’t really care to see). The viewing area didn’t feel crowded. We brought our stroller inside (as did several others) and felt like we had plenty of space to do so without crowding other folks.

When we went HEA was at 9:15 and the park closed at 11 pm. It was so relaxing sitting and eating while watching the mobs of people exit after the fireworks. We hung out and ate until just after 10 and then did some rides before leaving the park.

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What time did you have to check in for the fireworks if you are doing the after party?

We checked in 15 minutes before the fireworks. And we had no problem finding a spot. Most people wanted to be in the front of the reserved area, but we found the view to be better at the back. We sat down on the “grass” which was so nice.


Thank you so much!

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We did the after fireworks with garden view in December and it was so worth the money. We did not feel rushed at all during the dessert portion and it really wasn’t too crowded so no long lines for the food. It was wonderful and I would highly recommend it. The only thing to note was that Once Upon a Time started while we were still eating dessert so if you want to be able to see it, sit on the far left by the open area. This may have been unique to the time of year that we were there but something to check

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The wife and I did the terrace version in 2017 and enjoyed it immensely. The big differentiator for us was that you could check in early and select a table. The table was then reserved exclusively for you and it was not necessary to return to the terrace early in order to get a good seat.

If it says to be there at 8:15 (for the 9:15 show), do you have to be there on time? Will you miss out on anything if you’re late? We have a SDMT FP at 8:15, so I don’t want to book a dessert party and miss that.

Depends on which version you purchase, With the Terrace version you reserve a specific table when you check in earlier in the evening (i checked in at 5:45 but don’t take that as current policy). With the Garden you are reserving entrance to the Garden but no specific location (think “festival seating” at a concert)

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So if the Once Upon a Time show is after HEA, you can still see the OUAT projections somewhat from the dessert area? This is my main concern with booking the After Party. I keep debating between Before and After because I would like to catch a glimpse of OUAT as well.

You can if you are on the side and they did have tables there. I’m guessing it would be obstructed and not a full view of the castle. We just walked outside of the terrace and went back over to the garden area (which had emptied out) and watched it there. They would let you back in to the dessert area with your wristband.

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If you did the garden after party you would be fine. People were showing up in the garden area just 5 or 10 minutes before the fireworks started. Just make sure you allow time to go check in at Tomorrowland Terrace and then they will escort you over the the garden area to help you cut through the crowds.


How far in advance of the fireworks did you check-in? We have a check-in time of 8 pm for 9 pm fireworks but also will have a 7DMT FP around that time. I thought they had assigned seating already, but you’re saying they do it when you check in? I wouldn’t mind checking in early then going back for the ride. Frankly, sitting around for an hour will drive my kids nuts even if there’s food involved!

You can come and go as you please once you’ve checked in and been given your wristband. We’ve done the Terrace version a few times, and the tables have always been pre-assigned, so in our case it’s made no difference what time we turned up - our table was still ours.

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In 2017 I was able to check in at 5:45, but that may not be the current policy. We were allowed to select a table and it was reserved for us, which allowed us to leave and subsequently return just prior to show time.

Thanks for the reports, @linsalt and @lecras, I happy to hear we can come and go after we arrive, get our table and wristbands. But I’m still unclear about table assignments.

Is the table actually reserved for us prior to the start of the event, so it doesn’t matter when we show up- or is it assigned when we arrive? Of course, the protocol may have changed between your respective visits but what do you think the most recent procedure is? Thank you so much, I appreciate your taking the time to post.

It was pouring down rain and very cold the night we did this. We were booked for the after party, but they were happy to switch us to before when we asked at the hostess stand. We checked in about 20 min. before OUAT ate a little, ran back for a little more and then settled in for fireworks. The view along the back fence was great for both shows. The crowd levels had dropped significantly, so we probably didn’t need the reservation, but we couldn’t have predicted that ahead of time. As it was, we were able to use our umbrellas without obstructing anyone else’s view - except of course when the wind turned them inside out! Definitely a memorable night!